Some thoughts about authentic LOVE: This is what being "radicalized" truly means!!!
“Writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way...But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!” Jude 1b-2, 20-21, The Message
We are always changed by our experiences of being loved by God. As we Practice His Presence we will be gently challenged as to what we believe about love. Our Inner Journey will correct our love perspective and mature us in God’s love. Our wounds associated with love will be “being healed” as we practice his presence, hear him and journal/share what we’ve experienced.
Also, as we journey toward a more mature love, we will begin to see how our contribution to others will start becoming the bigger part of love. We love because we want to be an expression of who Jesus is for us. We begin to love without strings or thought of reward. Following is some of what love will look like as we heal and mature. As we Practice the Presence of Jesus our previous love experiences will become greatly challenged in the fresh light of His love.
We discover in Him: Love gives permission to change and supports the process. It does not wait on the sidelines until change is complete before it rejoins the relationship. Love is a willingness to share the journey and be part of the story. Life can be a comedy, a tragedy, usually a drama, always an adventure, and unfortunately, occasionally a soap opera. Real love always plays a leading role, never a bit part.
We want excitement, not boring predictability, yet we often fail to understand that real love is mostly about how we overcome circumstances, not how we avoid them. Life is unforeseen, unpredictable, and made up of pleasure and pain. To navigate the twists and turns of our journey without using love as a compass and guide, means we will neither discover nor become the relational equivalent of True North. This is the most genuinely true alignment that can exist in the harmony between us and God.
His love does not accept a negative. It will challenge fear in an appropriate manner. Love stands up for love. The evidence of our lack of love is that we are afraid to be hurt or rejected. That can mean that we relate to people in the present so as to prevent ourselves from being hurt, as we once were in the past. That is dysfunctional and sad. We are governed by a present/past mindset that is protective in a completely wrong way. Perfect love casts out fear. The antidote to fear is to fully understand the power of love.
Love is not about opening yourself up to another. It is choosing to be your real self no matter what occurs. Love is about how we love, not who loves us. “I am what I love, not what loves me.” Authentic love secures our heart to God as the ultimate focus of our love; even as we are the focus of his love. This will become the most powerful identity statement that can ever be made about us. It will produce a freedom that revolutionizes your relationships.
Real love cannot be rejected, because it never seeks a return. Love is not an investment. It is the right thing to do. It is a part of our righteousness. That is, it is not just about doing the right thing, but more about being the right person. His love within calls us to be true to ourselves and love others.
When the relationship of one person to another becomes toxic, love is still possible even if trust is negotiable. In real love, we always believe the best of someone. If their pattern of behavior does not change, eventually the lack of trust will bring us to a crossroads. It is no longer possible to believe the best, but we can believe that they have the potential to become better. Love relates to people’s potential rather than their actual... nature.
Love overcomes our own hurts and wounds. How do we love someone when love is not returned? In exactly the same way as if it were! We love for the joy of loving. Love means that we don’t have to “fix” people. We simply resource them with how we see them, think about them, and value them. When we do something for someone else without the need for recognition or gratitude it will benefit the giver as much as the recipient. Love expressed increases.
Love does not control anothers destiny nor stifle their identity. We are learning to love openly and generously. Love that is founded on dependency can become toxic. We can suffocate people with our expectations and demands. We can over-protect like a security blanket that smothers people and allows them no freedom to discover life. Love releases people. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. It is not our responsibility to change people but to give love freely and without strings. We earn the right to give advice. Loving-kindness opens up the door of trust.
Loved and loving, Ron Ross